Female Russian europop duo notable more for their sexual orientation than their music, comprising of Julia Olegovna Volkova (born 1985) and Elena Sergeevna Katina (born 1984). t.A.T.u. are lesbians. They are also attractive looking teenagers. Got it? Good because that's about as deep as it gets.

Assembled after auditions by Ivan Shapovalov, a former TV-commercial producer, their debut single, "Ya Soshla s Uma," (All The Things She Said), gained them international exposure on MTV (Top Five on the most requested videos chart). Shapovalov apparently devised t.A.T.u. after spotting a gap in the market, claiming they are an "underage sex project" designed to appeal to men in search of "underage entertainment". This has of course caused moral outrage in British tabloids as they have recently released All The Things She Said with an accompanying video consisting of the two girls wearing school uniforms while kissing and fondling each other in the rain. Apparently the girls are lesbian lovers in real-life engaging in underage sex, although whether this is merely part of the dodgy marketing ploy remains to be seen. British Daytime TV gurus Richard and Judy have stepped into the media fray to represent the moral majority calling on radio stations and record shops to ban the single, branding their record company "sick" for supporting their "open paedophile message".

Clearly this is a case of marketing gone mad. It goes without saying that t.A.T.u. are all about gimmick and fairly low on musical proficiency, although the single "All The Things She Said" sits quite comfortably among much of the less conspicuous chart nonsense on musical grounds, being a relatively competently devised pop tune with only mildly grating vocals. In support of the notion that "any publicity is good publicity" the single is set to rocket to the no. 1 spot in the UK charts.

In this noder's humble opinion the incessant fuss about the moral corruptness of this phenomenon does the duo more credit than they deserve. Afterall it's nothing new for a pop act to be sold on a gimmick rather than their music and surely this is, in a sense, a natural progression within the pop world. It's not so different to Britney Spears' musical debut but is perhaps more honest than the pure and virginal image promoted in order to pacify the moral majority of the time. However, the likely success of t.A.T.u. is perhaps a good indication of the moral confusion prevalent in a society manic in its paranoia regarding paedophilia yet mostly passive in its opposition to the sexualisation of children. The view presented in the Chris Morris' Brass Eye Special (a satirical faux documentary aimed at paedophilia induced hysteria in the media) appears less ridiculous by the week.

Nothing in their video is likely to particularly shock anyone but the most prudish or homophobic by itself but many are likely to be offended by what appears to be a crude and offensive marketing ploy. In fact I feel kind of dirty and used having just written this. Sorry.